Commission discusses Arpa grant funds
December 22, 2022
by Amanda Curtis,
The regularly scheduled Lewis County Board of Commissioners meeting opened with prayer led by Houston Hamblin and the Pledge led by Commissioner Caleb Feichtinger. All commissioners were present with the exception of Bill Dyer who was positive with Covid at the time of the meeting. Although the executive order allowing voting by phone had expired, Dyer still chose to call in to listen in on the meeting.
Minutes from last month’s meeting were approved by all, then the floor opened to anyone in the audience with business to bring before the board. No one in attendance stood, and the commission moved on to Commissioner Aren Ragsdale’s report of the committee of the whole. Ragsdale presented commissioners with notes of the report the week prior to the meeting which was praised by County Mayor Jonah Keltner. Commissioners Austin Carroll and Feichtinger motioned to accept the minutes as written and presented. All approved.
The report of the Highway Department moved money around in the budget after the sale of excess equipment. All approved the move of the money as well as the sale of surplus items.
All approved, with the exception of commissioner Loveless voting no, the usage of ARPA grant funds to replace the transmission in the EMA director’s truck. Kyle Bobo and Ragsdale sponsored a resolution to set aside $500,000 from the federal ARPA money into a separate reserve account for future emergency use. The funds, by law, have to be spent or allocated by 2024, and would require a two-thirds vote to spend. All were in favor, and the resolution passed.
The commission addressed moving money to the proper lines, so bills are allocated and paid in a timely manner in the future. Per discussion, the concern over late fees to the IRS and other debtors arose. Hamblin made the commission aware of the coming fees associated with the previously late payments, and the commission unanimously approved allocating the funds to the proper lines for future accuracy.
All commissioners approved the usage of ARPA grant funds to make much needed upgrades to server, software and work stations.
Commissioner Brian Peery was appointed to the county audit committee by unanimous vote.
The commission voted to sell the broken/old HVAC unit from the library as well as the old cast iron audience seats from the old court room.
Timmie Hinson and Larry Pigg were the only two in favor of a resolution that would give County government workers a paid holiday on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The resolution did not pass with commissioners citing “three paid days off in a row doesn’t make financial sense.”
A resolution requesting Maury Regional to open a hospital in Lewis County was brought forward by a community member who visited the Mayor’s office the week prior. The citizen said she and a group of others have been working together on some ideas. All commissioners agreed to make the request.
The general fund currently sits at $2.4 million, while the solid waste fund is at $359,000.